Auction Watch -- November 2016

Phillips, The Geneva Watch Auction FOUR, November 12 and 13, 2016

On November 12 and 13, 2016, Phillips held an auction of 196 watches, divided into two sessions.  The first session, on November 12, included these four Heuer chronographs.

phillipsfour2016nov600

 

Final prices shown below include the hammer price plus a 25% buyer’s premium; exchange rate at the time of the auction was CHF 1.00 equals $1.012.

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08 Reasons Why I Can’t Wait to Buy the Carrera Heuer 01

In just a few days, TAG Heuer will be releasing its newest Carrera, the Carrera Heuer 01.  I recently borrowed a prototype of the Carrera Heuer 01 for a week, enjoyed the watch a lot, and can hardly wait to get this newest Carrera on my wrist.  In this posting, I’ll tell you why!!

CarHeuer01Detail0300

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Vintage Heuers on TAG Heuer Instagram

I’m a big fan of Instagram.  The Instagram format of square photographs and brief captions is ideal for sharing images and information about watches, and there is a rich flow of postings dedicated to both vintage and modern watches.  The #VintageHeuer hashtag serves the community of vintage Heuer collectors well, and we see some amazing old Heuer on Instagram, every day.

Recently, TAG Heuer has begun posting some fantastic photos of the vintage Heuers in the TAG Heuer Museum.  In this posting, we show the photos and captions from several of these postings, as well as a couple of other favorites from the TAG Heuer Instagram feed.  For each of the chronographs, we have also added links to the OnTheDash galleries where you can see additional photos.

TAG Heuer Instagram Hero 550

 

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TAG Heuer at BaselWorld 2015 -- I Believe in Biver

No, this is not Jean-Calude Biver’s first visit to the BaselWorld watch fair, but it is the first time he’ll be there as CEO of TAG Heuer.  Since Biver assumed this position, TAG Heuer enthusiasts have been nervously anticipating how Biver might re-position the brand, their fears stirred by constant suggestions that TAG Heuer would become the “entry level” brand for the LVMH watch group.  During the course of BaselWorld, we will learn a lot more.

But let’s look at the watches released in the first hours of BaselWorld to see what lessons we might learn about Biver’s leadership of the brand.  These watches send an exciting message about the future of TAG Heuer and about Biver’s vision for the brand.  I believe that we can learn at least eight lessons as the 8:00 AM opening of BaselWorld approaches.

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Model Overview: Heuer Jarama Chronograph

Heuer’s Caliber 12 automatic chronographs of the 1970s are easily divided into three generations.  The first generation was comprised of the three models that Heuer used to introduce its automatic chronographs in 1969 — the Autavia, Carrera and Monaco.  The second generation was introduced over the period from 1971 to 1974, as Heuer developed three models that embodied the look of the 1970s — the Montreal, Silverstone and Calculator.  In 1977, Heuer introduced the third generation of Caliber 12 powered automatic chronographs – the Cortina, Daytona, Jarama, Kentucky and Monza, with the Verona arriving in 1978.

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Auction Report – Three Interesting Heuers Sold Today (December 10, 2014)

Today, we saw two “live” auctions of interesting vintage Heuer chronographs, a black PVD-coated Heuer Monaco, Reference 74033, and an Abercrombie & Fitch Seafarer, Reference 2443.  In this posting, we’ll take a quick look at these two watches and the results of the sales.  We will also take a look at a Heuer Carrera, Reference 2447S that achieved a strong price in one of these auctions

Heuer Monaco, in Black PVD, Reference 74033

The Black PVD Monaco is one of the icons of the Heuer world. There has been some debate about the origins of this model — prototype versus production — but there is no debate about the scarcity and value of these watches.  Over the last decade, we have seen fewer than 20 of these watches, and this model holds the record for the highest price ever paid for a vintage Heuer, with one selling in December 2010, for approximately $75,000.  If we are lucky, in a given year, we might expect to see one of these watches offered in a public sale.  It’s December 10, and I believe that this was the first Black PVD Monaco that we saw on the auction block in 2014.

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Introducing the Best (Looking) TAG Heuer Carrera Ever

As a vintage watch enthusiast, I will admit that our community can be tough on the companies that produce modern watches, especially when it comes to how today’s brands re-issue some of their legendary watches.  If the brand is too literal in re-issuing one of its classic watches, we say that the company lacked creativity or imagination.  If the new watch strays too far from the original one, we accuse the brand of misusing a legendary name.  As much as members of the vintage community sincerely want to embrace the modern watches offered by our cherished brands, it can be difficult.  Why are registers so close together?  Why can’t we have a 12-hour recorder?  Why is the watch so thick?  Why is the watch so expensive?  Sometimes I wonder whether it is even possible for the old-timers to be genuinely enthusiastic about a modern watch.

TAG Heuer Carrera CH80 -- Four

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Vintage Heuer -- The Best of 2013

2013 was a fantastic year for the community that collects vintage Heuer chronographs.  The community had 30 members participate in a Summit in La Chaux-de-Fonds, TAG Heuer celebrated “50 Years of the Carrera”, we saw new books and websites dedicated to the vintage Heuers, and activity on our discussion forums reached an all-time high.

Heuer -- Best 0f 2013
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Carrera Calibre 36 Flyback Chronograph -- Full Review

Of all the imagery being used to market watches, perhaps none is more overused than motorsports.  Watch brands create special models that will be offered with high performance cars, they plaster their logos on racing venues, cars and drivers, and new watches pay tribute to champions, even long after they have passed away.  The fact that a brand has history in racing is hardly an obstacle at all, as images of legendary races and racers are readily available for licensing.

TAG Heuer Carrera Calibre 36 Flyback with Stopwatches

Against this cluttered landscape of brands claiming a pedigree in motorsports, TAG Heuer stands alone as the brand with the strongest connection to the golden age of motorsports.  Back in the 1960s, racers wore Heuer chronographs, racing teams used Heuer equipment, and races and rallies were timed by Heuers.  Andretti, Rindt, Villeneuve, Siffert, Bell and other racing heroes all wore Heuers, well before the era of paid ambassadors.  Talk to the old-time racers, and they will confirm that the Heuers were the watches that everyone wore. Read more »

Everything Old is New Again -- Inspirations for the New Carrera Calibre 36 Flyback

In a posting just prior to Baselworld 2013, we pondered the question of what the new Carrera Caliber 36 chronographs would look like.  We had some excellent clues, from the “Teaser” image posted by TAG Heuer in the run-up to Basel, and were able to make some good guesses about the appearance and features of these new chronographs.

TAG Heuer Carrera Calibre 36 Flyback Racing -- Detail

Now that TAG Heuer has introduced the the Carrera Calibre 36 at Basel, and released photographs and specifications, we can provide an introduction to these chronographs.  We will begin with a description of the watches, and then explore some Heuer history, to understand the origins of these watches and place them in the context of Heuer’s heritage.

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Introducing the TAG Heuer Carrera Calibre 36 Flyback Chronographs

In yesterday’s posting, we pondered the question of what the new Carrera Caliber 36 chronographs would look like.  We had some excellent clues, from the “Teaser” image posted by TAG Heuer in the run-up to Basel, and were able to make some good guesses about the appearance and features of these new chronographs.

Now that TAG Heuer has released photographs and descriptions of the new Carrera Calibre 36 chronographs, we can provide a quick introduction to these chronographs.  Initially, we will post only a few photos of the new chronographs with brief descriptions, and we will soon add some background and more detailed descriptions to this posting.

Three Versions of the Carrera Calibre 36 “Flyback” Chronograph

TAG Heuer Carrera Calibre 36 Flyback -- Three Versions

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Arriving in 36 Hours: TAG Heuer Carrera Calibre 36 Chronograph

The BaselWorld fair, the biggest annual event in the watch world, opens on Thursday, April 25.  BaselWorld 2013 promises to be especially important for TAG Heuer, as the brand continues its year-long celebration of the 50th Anniversary of the Carrera and introduces new watches that will push the frontiers of “haute horologerie”.

This year’s fair will also mark the last Basel fair for TAG Heuer CEO Jean-Christophe Babin, as he will soon depart to become CEO of Bulgari.  Since his arrival at TAG Heuer 13 years ago, Babin has focused on Heuer’s unique heritage in motorsports and its accomplishments in precision timing.  We can expect to see more of both these themes in the watches TAG Heuer will introduce at Basel.

TAG Heuer Calibre 36 Carrera

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Satisfaction -- Mick Jagger is a Heuer Guy!

Watch freaks are . . . well, come to think of it, “freaks” is a pretty good way to describe them.  And surely one of the most bizarre habits of the watch freaks is “watch spotting”.  Watch freaks watch (and re-watch) movies and TV shows, and put their 10X loupes on the weekly issue of People magazine, all in an effort to determine the watches that the actors, actresses, celebrities, athletes and politicians are wearing.

Jagger Autavia Header

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Geneva Scrapbook: Carrera 50th Anniversary Celebration, January 21, 2013

On Monday, January 21, 2013, I attended the opening of TAG Heuer’s “50 Years of Carrera” celebration, in Geneva, and on Tuesday, January 22, I visited TAG Heuer’s Museum, archives and factory, in La Chaux-de-Fonds.  I will cover these two amazing days in two separate “Scrapbook” postings, with this posting covering the Carrera celebration in Geneva and a second posting covering the visit to TAG Heuer’s headquarters.   In addition to these Scrapbook postings, I will also post more detailed write-ups covering specific interviews, watches and experiences.

The Celebration – 50 Years of Carrera

There are two major watch exhibitions each year, January in Geneva and March (or April this year) in Basel.  TAG Heuer chose to launch its “50 Years of Carrera” celebration in Geneva, on January 21.  Hey, if you’re going to have a year-long celebration, better to start in January than in April!

TAG Heuer 50 Years of Carrera Celebration

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The Chronomatics -- Rarest of the Vintage Heuers

For vintage watch collectors, the difference between a “grail” watch and an ordinary watch is often a matter of small details. The texture of the paint, the length of a hash mark, the style of the serifs or the aging of the lume can all affect the collectability and value of a vintage watch. The 10x loupe has become standard equipment for examining the rare ones; sometimes, we need the extra power of a microscope, just to be sure. We showed you how little details can make a difference in the Black PVD Heuer Monaco.

It’s not so nuanced, however, for those pursuing the rarest of the vintage Heuer chronographs. There is one word — located at the top dead center of the dial — that evidences the rarest of the rare in the world of vintage Heuers. The word “Chronomatic” alerts the collector that he or she has found the ultimate vintage Heuer chronograph. In this posting, we will consider where the origins of the word “Chronomatic” and provide an overview of the four (or five) models that bear this special designation.

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Chrono Art from Paul Gavin -- Amazing Photos!!

Paul Gavin is one of our regular contributors to OnTheDash, and most of us consider Paul to be our very best photographer.  Paul displays his beautiful photographs on his website HeuerWorld.com, and you can read more about Paul over there.

Recently, during a rainy weekend in the south of England, Paul spent some time producing some “art photos”, different in style from his usual more realistic photos.  Paul posted links to these photos in a message on our discussion forum, and he has given us permission to give these art photos a more permanent home here.  Accordingly, this page shows the six art photos that Paul posted on our forum (five Heuers and one Zenith), as well as two other photos that I especially admire (both manual-wind Carreras).

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Leap Day 2012 -- Wrist-Shot Wednesday, at Last

“Leap Day” (February 29th) is a special day that only occurs every four years.  Watch guys who own perpetual calendars marvel as the “29” arrives at midnight; 24 hours, they are even more impressed when the date moves to “1”.  This year, I marked Leap Day by playing hooky from work — traveling to New York City to take care of a couple of non-work related matters.  I mean, in most years (or 75% of them, to be precise), 28 days are enough for February, so I decided to end February 2012 on the 28th and declare the 29th to be a free day . . . off the calendar.

During the course of the day, I saw a “Watch You Wearing” message on our discussion forum, so I decided to take some wrist shots, all along the way.  [I usually don’t take wrist-shots, but maybe I will make an exception every February 29th.]

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Mark Moss Analyzes a Rare Chronomatic Dial

On November 3, 2011, Rich Crosthwaite — one of our Monaco experts — posted a message on our discussion forum regarding the Carrera Chronomatic dial shown immediately below.  While our community had seen a handful of Chronomatic Carrera chronographs, all these had a gray-blue dial, with white registers, we had never seen a Chronomatic Carrera in the white-on-white design.

 

Chronomatic Carrera Dial -- Front Chronomatic Carrera Dial -- Back

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Communicate Well with Your Watchmaker (or be Prepared to Suffer the Consequences)

Shown below is an eBay listing for a Chronomatic Carrera, that should teach all of us a lesson.  The Chronomatics are among the rarest of the vintage Heuers, with no more than 20 samples known within the community of collectors.  Of these, the Chronomatic Carreras are especially rare, with only three or four having been spotted over the past decade.

Read the eBay listing below, to see how a local jeweler — hoping to surprise the owner with a little extra work on the dial – destroyed the watch.  It ended up selling on eBay for $1,200; an original Chronomatic Carrera in decent condition would probably have been worth at least five times that amount

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